Trebanos RFC 23 Bedwas RFC 21
WRU Championship Plate Final, Sunday 24 April 2022.
Match report and photography by Ian Lovell.
A late Matthew Edwards penalty goal broke Bedwas hearts to claim the win at a sunny, warm Principality Stadium.
It was a nervous start by both sides, the first ten minutes producing five scrums after knock-ons.
Trebanos winger Matthew Edwards broke the deadlock after eleven minutes with a long-range penalty after Bedwas were penalised for not releasing the ball in a tackle.
Five minutes later Trebanos increased their lead. Bedwas conceded a penalty at a ruck which was cleared to touch. From the resulting line-out patient build up saw the ball pass through several pairs of hands before finding its way to left wing Iestyn Lewis who had enough space to cross in the corner. Edwards nailed the conversion to put his ten points ahead.
Trebanos increased their lead midway through the half after the TMO alerted the referee to a no arms tackle by Craig Hudd, Edwards again finding the target with his penalty kick.
Bedwas looked to hit back and reduced arrears after twenty-nine minutes via the boot of Dion McIntosh after Trebanos’ Edwards was adjudged offside.
Bedwas piled the pressure leading to several infringements by the Trebanos side but despite a warning to the Trebanos captain no further sanctions were issued.
A Bedwas penalty on thirty-six minutes was kicked to the five-metre line. Hooker Mike Dacey’s throw was accurate and from the driving maul Dacey himself was driven over the try line. McIntosh was unsuccessful with his conversion.
From the restart Craig Hudd looked to have been taken out illegally in the air but this was not penalised but from the clearance kick Aaron Billingham’s innocuous looking aerial challenge led to the TMO asking the referee to look at what was nothing more than a collision. After some debate, the referee decided no further action was necessary to the relief of the Bedwas following.
There was still time for McIntosh to attempt a long-range penalty goal, but his effort fell short of the posts.
Bedwas started the second half well, a high tackle on Hamish Anderson resulting in a penalty but from the resulting line out the ball was knocked on and the chance evaporated.
Fresh legs entered the fray for both sides and two McIntosh penalties either side of the hour mark put Bedwas ahead for the first time by a single point.
Bedwas were seemingly in control at this stage, but it was Trebanos who scored next with full back Josh Ferryman running a nice angle to cut through the Bedwas defence for a try just left of the posts. Edwards converted and his side was six points ahead with eight minutes to play.
Bedwas hit back almost immediately. Replacement full back Sam Davies made a break deep into the Trebanos half, his pass finding replacement winger Liam Jenkins to run through for a try in the right-hand corner. Dion McIntosh successfully kicked the difficult kick and with five minutes to play Bedwas led, again by a single point.
Then came the heartbreak. With two minutes to play and following a long advantage Trebanos’ Edwards slotted a penalty goal to edge his side ahead. With so little time left to play Bedwas were unable to recover, and it was Trebanos who were able to celebrate at the final whistle.
Bedwas made a gallant effort, the boys should be proud of what they have achieved.
Bedwas have no time to dwell on their deeds as the side heads to Brynmawr RFC this Saturday for a Ben Francis Cup semi-final fixture, kick-off 2-30pm.
Images from todays game can be found at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bedwasrfc/albums/72177720298374333